* Former RNC chair Ken Mehlman warns his party: The country is embracing gay marriage, and that trend is only accelerating, so get with the program before it’s too late.

* Good stuff from Ron Brownstein on Obama’s use of cultural issues — gay marriage, contraception, etc. — to make a winning bet on the changing nature of America.

* Tim Noah on the eight ways Obama can jam his agenda through without any help whatsoever from Congress. Executive actions are easier now that Obama won’t face reelection. And the right will call him a tyrant no matter what he does, so...

* David Firestone on how John Boehner is openly defying the election by insisting the health law be part of the deficit talks, the latest last-ditch effort to keep hope alive among the Obamacare dead-enders.

* Jonathan Bernstein, writing about Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, has a very good question for conservatives:

Will they actually accept the idea that it’s a bad idea to go around insulting and excluding people — if not actually bad, at least bad politics? Or will they continue to blame everyone but themselves for why group after group after group feels insulted by GOP rhetoric?

* A bankruptcy court gives Hostess the green light to wind down and sell off, meaning the loss of 18,000 jobs, and you can expect a dull roar of misleading blame-it-on-greedy-unions commentary from the right.

* Peter Beinart has a useful look at the message of the Gaza fighting for hawks and doves alike. Note in particular the last idea — America will be involved no matter what, so better to go for broke.

* Kevin Drum reminds the deficit hawks: Shrinking the deficit in the near term is a bad idea amid a fragile recovery — and it’s already happening.

* Steve Benen marvels at John McCain’s bizarre frustration over the news that the intel community rewrote the administration’s Benghazi talking points — which in the real world seems exonerating.

* I agree with Digby here: We should believe that Dems are actually prepared to go over the fiscal cliff only when they prove it.

* Nate Silver gets a hat-tip from Obama himself, and it’s worth noting that Silver probably helped the president more than you might think by subduing (somewhat) the liberal poll freakout.

* And today in right wing media: A Fox pundit jokes that she’d look “fabulous” if she had to live on food stamps. Perfectly timed pre-Thanksgiving humor!

What else?